Is the Bollywood Mafia strategically eliminating the talented outsiders?

This post is not about the tragic death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. This is a post about nepotism or bhai-bhatijawaad in the Indian Film Industry. Nepotism was always there in the glam world but the existing ‘Bollywood Mafia’ (as Kangana Ranaut chooses to say) is extremely vicious and we, the viewers need to tackle them.

Why only ageing heroes and half-baked star sons and daughters star in high budget films? Why do we see the same old crafty faces at film award ceremonies? Why does the film industry stink of staleness? Simple! the Bollywood Mafia has been strategically eliminating the outsiders – real talents.

Rajput was an outsider too. There may have been many causes for his suicide, but nepotism was definitely one of them. He was constantly being pushed out of the centerstage, where he belonged. But a group of muscle-flexing, pretty boys and skimpily clad, surgically enhanced, starlets tried to edge him out of sight.

How can real talent survive when they are forced to stay back and remain on the fringe? Let’s think about last year’s Hindi films! Except some of the Ayushmann Khurrana films, what we have been watching are trashy movies. ‘Dabangg 3’, ‘Student of the Year, Housefull 4, Bharat, Kalank… all these films are not worth more than one or two stars. Would you watch any of these again? The below third-rate quality of our films is all due to nepotism.

The industry has been serving concocted success stories of half-baked star sons and daughters. The media is funded by the mafia to carve glorious images for the non-deserving relatives of stars. And they are projected as great actors just after working for one or two films.

Supporters say that nepotism only works for the initial break of the star kid and hard work matters after that. But the point is, despite delivering flops they are privileged to stay around in Bollywood. However, for the talented outsiders, it’s extremely hard to get into the industry and extremely easy to get chucked out.

They have no ‘Godfathers’ to hang on to…and then, there are filmy vultures ready to feed on them. The privileged people of the industry get to stay despite flops after flops. They just refuse to move or make room for talented outsiders.

You and I have seen so many fine and popular actors getting restricted to character roles because they would not be offered main roles. Yes, there are examples of some success stories that survived nepotism…Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, Ayushmann Khurrana…they have been extremely lucky.

And as Ram Gopal Verma said, the outsiders do become insiders of the industry in the long run and promote their family, it happens with every industry. But Verma should remember that every industry is not film industry. Here, the public matters the most! AFTER ALL, WE PAY FOR THE TICKETS TO WATCH YOUR FILMS!

So, we, the viewers should get to decide which actor or actress is deserving. Not Bollywood, Not Media, Not the PR people….!

We, as viewers have the right to expect quality films but what we have been getting is trash after trash. Our regional cinema is more artistic, imaginative, creative and supple than mainstream, which seriously suffers from stagnation and draught of ideas. Every other YouTube or TikTok star seems more talented than our film actors. And look at our performance at international level, our films are pathetic as compared to world cinema. The system needs to be overhauled!

We, the viewers should demand for anti-nepotism policies in the film industry…no son, daughter, spouse, friend or relative should be given privileges. Almost, every organization has anti-nepotism clause then why should it not apply to the film industry?

Only talent should matter, only talent should thrive! Very soon, the film industry will suffer from a public backlash, and we the viewers will run the show biz. It is time the Public takes the power back from them. The revolution has begun… we have the social media on our side to begin with.

(Images courtesy Google)

Masala Dialogues of Hindi Films!

Mere paas ma hai! This morning, #Twitter is abuzz with ‘bhari bharkam’ cliched, melodramatic dialogues of Bollywood that were once created to inspire intense emotion, nostalgia and ardent admiration. But these days the audience get tickled and chuckle at the excesses! Replying to Tara Deshpande’s Tweet about sharing favorite Bollywood dialogues, #Twitterati reacted with enthusiasm. Sharing some of my all time favorites!

 

Those iconic dialogues are tadka of our masala films. Whistle, whistle and more whistles for these!!! Which is yours? (To read, what Twitterati has to say – go to @Tara_Deshpande

(Images courtesy Google)

Indian Beauties in Soap Ads

Soap advertisements (especially Lux) have showcased Indian beauties of all times in the most glamorous light. Here are a few of my favorite ones, who is your favourite Soap Beauty?

Ebullient Madhubala!

Elegant Waheeda Rehman

Stunning Suraiya

Charming Asha Parekh

Gorgeous Hema Malini

Sensuous Helen

Striking Saira Banu

Cute Tanuja

Mysterious Rekha

Beautiful Sridevi

Radiant Aishwarya

Charismatic Katrina

And of course, Desi Girl Priyanka Chopra!

(Images courtesy Google)

Listening to Sonu Nigam at Minneapolis concert!

PAGE-SANKARA-SONU-NIGAM-SAN-JOSE-CONCERT-03-DSC_0721Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin – when Sonu Nigam crooned this song at a concert in Minnesota, the crowd went still. The singer’s voice had an amazing melody and depth that soothed the over enthusiastic, frenzied crowd and made them listen, intently. Before the singer’s entry, the concert was average, where upcoming singers mostly performed on the latest, peppy Bollywood remixes, but he transformed it into something special. When he sang, it was clear, he did not need additional accompaniments, suggestive dance moves and props to spice up his performance, his voice had it all!

Even when not singing, his voice, carried the same melody. And he did miracles with his song – lifting, lowering, extending, shortening, pausing – unpredictable twists that made the audience respond with thunderous applause. At one point of time, during the concert, the audience went so overboard that they blocked the fire exit, the singer had to make a request to restore order. The security had a tough time containing the crowd who had come to listen to one of the most well loved singers in Bollywood.

Sonu Nigam and Neha Kakkar, the two biggies of Indian Music Industry, are currently performing in a number of cities in the US and Canada. And we had the good fortune of attending one of those concerts in Minneapolis on Saturday, with our lovely family friends. It was a night to remember in amazing company!

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Now talking about remix queen Neha Kakkar –  she definitely had the crowd eating out of her hand, as she wriggled and danced akin to Shakira, but was not melodious. She had a shrill and powerful voice, that entertained, but did not really touch the heart. It was her latkas and jhatkas that entertained more!

Coming back to Sonu Nigam, his dedication to music seemed real, palpable and fame seems to be just one part of it. Small wonder then that he has held his own for decades despite a crowd of eager, fresh singers striving in Bollywood and changes in music style. Plus the guy doesn’t seem to age at all! To my great joy, someone in the audience requested to sing ‘Bijuriya’, and he sang with an amazing alacrity, giving it a perfect end with the famous ‘Moonwalk’ step!

If you ask for my personal favourite from his bunch of songs that included – Suraj Hua Madham and Hans Mat Pagli, I would say the song mentioned in the opening line of this post – Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin. That song was sublime!

As I watched the singer’s performance, one thing seemed sure. He did not belong to that rising group of people, who do passable work for instant fame. Unfortunately, the ‘chalu’ type of work has invaded all arts across the world. Integrity, dedication and hard work increasingly replaced by quick something for social media fame. Thankfully, the singer seems to belong to a select, small group of people, who practice art for sake of art!

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I have been listening to Sonu Nigam’s songs right from my teenage years and have always liked him. But it was a different experience to hear him live. In between the songs, the singer paused and remarked – ‘when I’ll die, this song will be played for sure.’ And he sang – Har Ghadi Badal Rahi Hai Roop Zindagi from ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’. Well, none of us would like that to happen, ever. May he continue to enthrall us all with his soulful singing!

(First Two Images courtesy Google)

Sridevi – My Muse

When I was a kid, Sridevi was my favourite face. The actress was everywhere – on magazine covers, newspapers and advertisements. And how I loved to draw her! My sketchbook had a lot of rough sketches of the beauty. She was an artist’s dream with large vivacious eyes and gorgeous demeanor. Her sudden, accidental death by drowning has left all her admirers in deep shock. Now, after so many years, I sketch her one last time as a tribute to her. #RIP Sridevi